Arts

Sunday Puzzle
2:44 am
Sun August 4, 2013

First Names First

NPR Graphic

Originally published on Sun August 4, 2013 11:39 am

On-air challenge: This week's puzzle is called "What's in a Name?" Every answer consists of the names of two famous people. The last name of the first person is an anagram of the first name of the last person. Given the non-anagram parts of the names, you identify the people. For example, given "Madeleine" and "Aaron," you would say "Kahn" and "Hank."

Last week's challenge: In three words, name a product sold mainly to women that has the initials N-P-R. The answer is a common phrase.

Read more
Arts & Life
4:29 pm
Sat August 3, 2013

Bespoke Suits And Perfect Cravats At 'Dandy' Exhibit

Sartorial Anarchy #5, 2012. Ike Ude, photographer. In his Sartorial Anarchy self-portraits, New York-based Nigerian-born artist Ike Ude creates composite images of the dandy across geography and chronology. Ude photographs himself in disparate ensembles, pairing, for example, a copy of an 18th-century Macaroni wig with other carefully selected vintage garments and reproductions.
Courtesy of Leila Heller Gallery Ike Ude

Originally published on Sun August 4, 2013 8:43 am

When you hear the word dandy, what do you think of?

Maybe the song "Yankee Doodle Dandy," which dates all the way back to the Revolutionary War, and compares the colonists to foppish, effeminate idiots: the dandies.

But a summer exhibit at the Rhode Island School of Design Museum, closing Aug. 18, aims to reclaim the term. It explores dandyism through the ages, linking to the cutting edge of men's fashion and style. The name of the show is "Artist, Rebel, Dandy: Men of Fashion" — which does still leave you wondering what you might see.

Read more
Movie Interviews
4:00 pm
Sat August 3, 2013

Robert Klein And The Golden Age Of Comedy

Robert Klein
International Film Circuit

Originally published on Sat August 3, 2013 4:29 pm

When Robert Klein was a busboy in the Catskills, he saw the best Jewish comedians of the day. From Rodney Dangerfield and Mel Brooks, to comedy in its modern form, Klein was there to see the evolution of what makes us laugh. It made him the perfect person to narrate the documentary that opened this week in New York City, When Comedy Went to School. It's a look back at how many famous comedians got their start by spending their summers in the Catskill Mountains of upstate New York.

Read more
Monkey See
9:45 am
Sat August 3, 2013

Death And Walter White

Bryan Cranston as Walter White on Breaking Bad.
Ursula Coyote AMC

Originally published on Mon August 5, 2013 9:57 am

This piece discusses plot points in detail from the first four and a half seasons of Breaking Bad, but nothing from the Aug. 11 season premiere.

If television's golden age has taught viewers anything, it is to expect that explosive, violent death is an integral part of serious storytelling. The history of literature and the history of film teach that there are other ways to achieve high stakes. But if you go looking for premium, celebrated television dramas that don't involve a lot of bloody kills, you will narrow your options considerably.

Read more
Arts & Life
5:45 am
Sat August 3, 2013

The Best Audio Stories, In Three Minutes Or Less

Originally published on Sat August 3, 2013 11:46 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Linda Wertheimer. Since 2000, the Third Coast International Audio Festival has been curating some of the best audio stories from around the world. One of the submission categories is: short documentaries. These are pieces no longer than three minutes. This year's theme for short docs was: appetite. Joining us from member station WBEZ in Chicago to talk about the winners is Third Coast's artistic director Julie Shapiro. Hey, Julie.

JULIE SHAPIRO: Hey, Linda.

Read more
Monkey See
5:27 am
Sat August 3, 2013

Guy Pearce, We Are Pleased To Find You Looking Vaguely Disreputable In 'Jack Irish'

Dear Guy Pearce: The Jack Irish stubble is working, though we're not feeling the giant butterfly art. We assume it's in a hoodlum's house, not Jack's, but we'll be watching this weekend just to confirm.
Lachlan Moore Acorn TV

Originally published on Sat August 3, 2013 11:46 am

With Linda still out at the TCA gathering, TV is much on our minds. And as she noted yesterday, there's a whole big conversation going on about the newer modes of consuming what we still, for lack of a better word, generally call television.

(Actually, we probably don't need a better word, as "television" just means "far-sight" and doesn't have anything to do with broadcast or spectrum or modes of transmission or the technology involved, BUT I DIGRESS.)

Read more
Book Reviews
4:25 am
Sat August 3, 2013

Wandering Appetites: Hunting The Elusive Noodle

Jennifer Lin-Liu is a chef at Black Sesame Kitchen, her restaurant and cooking school in Beijing. She is also the author of Serve the People.
Lucy Cavender Courtesy Riverhead Books

Originally published on Mon August 5, 2013 4:24 pm

On the Noodle Road is one attempt to answer an old chestnut: Did Marco Polo really bring noodles from China to Italy? If not, where did they really come from? Or — to put it another way — from what point along the storied byways of the Silk Road did that humble paste of flour and water first spring into its multifarious existence?

Read more
Food
3:59 am
Sat August 3, 2013

Pickling Up Your Next Summer Picnic

Mike Odette, chef and co-owner of Sycamore Restaurant, finds beets and turnips that will make tasty refrigerator pickles at the Columbia, Mo., farmers market.
Abbie Fentress Swanson Harvest Public Media

Originally published on Sat August 3, 2013 3:55 pm

Mike Odette, chef and co-owner of Sycamore Restaurant in Columbia, Mo., is trolling the local farmer's market. He usually hunts for ingredients for his next menu, but today he's searching for veggies to take on a picnic.

A slaw using creamy mayonnaise might spoil in the summer heat. So Odette favors a simple summer vinaigrette that's equal parts cider vinegar and sugar. He recommends making it the night before.

"It benefits from sitting in the refrigerator overnight," he says, "so the flavors can develop, and you could even dress your slaw on your picnic."

Read more
Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
5:54 pm
Fri August 2, 2013

Not My Job: Charles Frazier Gets Quizzed On Frasier Crane

Greg Martin Courtesy of Charles Frazier

Originally published on Sat August 3, 2013 10:37 am

There are plenty of small-town guys who stick around, get a boring job and dream of writing a great novel. And nothing ticks off those guys like the ones who actually pull it off: Charles Frazier's first novel, Cold Mountain, was an international best-seller, and he followed it up with Thirteen Moons and Nightwoods.

Here in Asheville, N.C., we've invited Frazier to play a game called "I'm listening, Seattle." Three questions for Charles Frazier about Frasier Crane, fictional radio psychiatrist.

Read more
Movies
11:28 am
Fri August 2, 2013

Emotional Terrorism, From The Shelter Of Home

Andre (Niels Arestrup) shares a home with his Moroccan-born adopted son Mounir (Tahar Rahim), who has struggled to find work outside his father's home-based medical practice.
Distrib Films

Our Children, a quietly devastating Belgian domestic drama, opens with a shattered young woman on an IV drip. Then the action moves swiftly back to that same woman, radiantly in love and eager to tell Andre, the man her beloved calls father, that she's planning to marry his boy.

Read more
Barbershop
9:24 am
Fri August 2, 2013

Barbershop Guys Take A Swing At Sports Controversies

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Read more
Ask Me Another
8:42 am
Fri August 2, 2013

Breaking It Down

Originally published on Wed November 27, 2013 3:06 pm

To mark the final season of the TV show Breaking Bad, we've based this game on its opening credits, in which elemental symbols for Bromine (Br) and Barium (Ba) help spell the show's title. House musician Jonathan Coulton asks contestants to spell words using more symbols from the Periodic Table.

Plus, Coulton competes this round with a cover of "Particle Man" by They Might Be Giants.

Read more
Ask Me Another
8:42 am
Fri August 2, 2013

I'm No Doctor

Originally published on Wed November 27, 2013 3:06 pm

Transcript

OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

Now we're going to crown this week's grand champion. Let's bring back from Breaking It Down, Avidan Ackerson. From Generically Speaking, Erin Barker. From Algebraic Music, Diane Firstman. From Real Housewives, John Rennie. And from Hollywood Formulas Chris Kairalla.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: I want to ask our puzzle guru John Chaneski to take us out and crown a winner.

Read more
Ask Me Another
8:42 am
Fri August 2, 2013

Steven Strogatz: The Joy Of 'X'

"I started making up questions for myself that I didn't know the answer to, just for the fun of getting back into that euphoric feeling of being puzzled and wanting to solve it." — Steven Strogatz, on how his habits changed after solving a challenging word problem in grade school
Greg Kessler World Science Festival

Originally published on Wed November 27, 2013 3:06 pm

Read more
Ask Me Another
8:42 am
Fri August 2, 2013

Hollywood Formulas

Originally published on Wed November 27, 2013 3:06 pm

If there's actually a secret Hollywood movie formula, we want to see the proof. In a game that will take you right back to your beloved high school algebra and geometry classes, host Ophira Eisenberg asks contestants to combine the titles of well-known movies with mathematical terms. For example, "Rectangled" combines the polygon "rectangle" with the title of the film Tangled.

Read more
Ask Me Another
8:42 am
Fri August 2, 2013

Real Housewives Of Greek Mythology

Originally published on Wed November 27, 2013 3:06 pm

What's your favorite franchise of Bravo's Real Housewives, Atlanta or New Jersey? How about The Acropolis? In this game, host Ophira Eisenberg stirs up the celestial domestic drama by performing imagined on-camera quotes from female Greek mythological figures. Can you guess the goddess?

Plus, Jonathan Coulton pays homage to another powerful lady with a cover of Bananarama's "Venus."

Read more
Ask Me Another
8:42 am
Fri August 2, 2013

Algebraic Music

Originally published on Wed November 27, 2013 3:06 pm

Don't freak out, but this game combines one part name-that-tune, one part doing-math-in-your-head, and a dash of The Proclaimers. It'll be fun, we promise. House musician Jonathan Coulton performs songs that feature a number in their titles, but the numbers have been replaced by algebraic expressions. Contestants must solve for 'x' to make the mathematical expressions in the songs correct.

Read more
Ask Me Another
8:42 am
Fri August 2, 2013

Generically Speaking

Originally published on Wed November 27, 2013 3:06 pm

When you hear the phrase, "I need a Band-Aid immediately!" is your instinct to reply, "Actually, it's called an 'adhesive bandage,' Band-Aid is a brand"? Don't be that person--unless you're playing along with this game. Host Ophira Eisenberg offers the generic name and description of a particular product, and you must name the specific trademarked name that commonly describes it.

Read more
NPR Story
2:42 am
Fri August 2, 2013

Spoiler Alert: Spoilers May Not Be That Bad

Originally published on Fri August 2, 2013 9:08 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

When you check social media and you're not caught up on your favorite TV show, say, you never know when you might encounter a spoiler. Somebody on Twitter, some blog says too much about what happened in a plot line. My big spoiler moment came when I saw a post about a death on "Downton Abbey" and I thought that everything was just ruined. But is it really that bad when this happens? NPR's Neda Ulaby has this encore story about how spoilers might actually make you enjoy something more.

Read more
Movie Reviews
3:53 pm
Thu August 1, 2013

Washington, Wahlberg Are Bad Boys, And Whatcha Gonna Do?

Bobby and Stig (Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg) are two hypermacho hoods who've teamed up to rob a bank — but wait, are they really the bad guys they say they are?
Patti Perret Universal

Hypermacho but tongue-in-cheek, the first 20 minutes of 2 Guns are enormous fun. Tough guys Bobby and Stig (Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg) bicker and flirt — with a pretty diner waitress, and with each other — while casing a small-town Texas bank.

Then they set the diner on fire, don masks, and knock over the bank for $43 million, all while taking care to save any cops from getting hurt and even kissing an available baby. The heist, it would seem, has gone according to plan. Yet something's a little off.

Read more
Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu August 1, 2013

Beyond Earth's Gravity, A Space Opera Goes Flat

Daniel Luxembourg (Christian Camargo) is chief scientist on a doomed mission to one of Jupiter's moons in Europa Report, a found-footage whatdunnit with sci-fi-thriller ambitions.
Magnolia

In space, not many people can hear you scream. In fact, traveling in a manned spacecraft is probably a bit like working on a soundproof movie set — which is plainly where Europa Report was shot.

Tricked up with split screens and digital-video glitchery, this low-budget sci-fi saga emphasizes the claustrophobia and monotony of a long journey beyond Earth's gravity. But it also borrows gambits from horror movies, withholding information and eliminating characters one by one.

Read more
Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu August 1, 2013

A Sculptor Struggles, But The Art Is Frustratingly Hollow

Aging sculptor Marc Cros (Jean Rochefort) finds new inspiration in the person — if not the personality — of a young Spanish refugee (Aida Folch) in The Artist and the Model.
Cohen Media Group

Writer-director Fernando Trueba certainly isn't earning points for his original premise in The Artist and the Model, which tells the story of an elderly French artist at the end of World War II who suffers from a creative block until the arrival of a young muse fuels a late-career resurgence.

Read more
Found Recipes
2:03 pm
Thu August 1, 2013

Zwetschgendatschi, A Mouthful That Captures The Perfect Plum

Zwetschgendatschi is the Bavarian word for plum cake. The dessert uses Damson plums, which are only in season for a few weeks each year.
Courtesy of Gesine Bullock-Prado

Originally published on Thu August 1, 2013 3:48 pm

If it's early August, it must be time for Damson plums. Gersine Bullock-Prado — a Vermont-based pastry chef and author of Bake It Like You Mean It — has a special place in her heart for them.

"They're not like your normal plum. They're not round. They're oval and very dark purple, almost black."

When barely ripe, the plums are firm, tart and olive green, Bullock-Prado says. "[They're] just these lovely little orbs of joy."

Read more
Monkey See
12:13 pm
Thu August 1, 2013

Coffee Break: The Get Your 'Mary Poppins' Groove On Edition

iStockphoto.com

* Having seen Cate Blanchett's electric Blanche DuBois, and had a public pretend-squabble with our own Bob Mondello about it, I felt like I was all up in Charles McNulty's head when I read his take on Blue Jasmine. [The Los Angeles Times]

Read more
Food
11:26 am
Thu August 1, 2013

'America's Test Kitchen' On Grilling Peaches, Tofu And Burgers

Jack Bishop of America's Test Kitchen says the trick to grilling peaches is using fruit that's ripe but firm.
mccun934 via Flickr

When Bridget Lancaster and Jack Bishop talk about preparing food on the public TV series America's Test Kitchen, they're really good at explaining why the recipe works. Bishop is the editorial director of the show, and Lancaster is the lead instructor of its cooking school. They've both contributed to the new America's Test Kitchen DIY Cookbook. They join Fresh Air's Terry Gross to talk about preparing summer foods, and to answer some cooking questions from the Fresh Air staff.

Read more
Alt.Latino
11:13 am
Thu August 1, 2013

Te Odio, Te Amo: Why Telenovelas Rule Latin Entertainment

Cuna de Lobos (Cradle of Wolves) is one of the most iconic telenovelas of all time.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri August 2, 2013 6:35 am

Read more
Television
10:12 am
Thu August 1, 2013

A Drama-Free Show For Black Women?

Originally published on Thu August 1, 2013 2:30 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Now we want to tell you about a new TV program that's hoping to bring new relevance to TV talk. The show is called "Exhale," it's on the ASPiRE network. That's a television network created by NBA legend Magic Johnson, to serve primarily African-American viewers. On the show, a panel of accomplished women talk about everything from health and fitness to sex and relationships.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "EXHALE")

Read more
The Two-Way
5:41 am
Thu August 1, 2013

Book News: The Smell Of Chocolate Boosts Book Sales, Study Says

Originally published on Thu August 1, 2013 5:58 am

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

Read more
Crime In The City
1:01 am
Thu August 1, 2013

Bodies On The Boardwalk: Murder Stirs A Sleepy Jersey Shore

The Jersey shore's iconic Star Jet roller coaster was inundated after Superstorm Sandy.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 2, 2013 4:01 pm

When writer Chris Grabenstein plots his mysteries, the murders happen in the corny nooks of New Jersey's Jersey shore. After all, there's something delightfully cheesy about a beach town.

"I guess I'm a cheesy guy. I like this kind of stuff," Grabenstein says. "Ever since I was a kid I loved tourist towns."

The author points out shop names as we walk along his stretch of the shore. There's the Sunglass Menagerie, an ice cream shop called Do Me A Flavor, Shore Good Donuts and How You Brewin' coffee. I'll spare you the rest — Long Beach Island has 18 miles of this stuff.

Read more
Books
1:00 am
Thu August 1, 2013

How Andrew Carnegie Turned His Fortune Into A Library Legacy

Carnegie ultimately gave away $60 million to fund a system of 1,689 public libraries across the country. "In bestowing charity the main consideration should be to help those who help themselves," he wrote.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 8, 2013 2:03 pm

Andrew Carnegie was once the richest man in the world. Coming as a dirt poor kid from Scotland to the U.S., by the 1880s he'd built an empire in steel — and then gave it all away: $60 million to fund a system of 1,689 public libraries across the country.

Carnegie donated $300,000 to build Washington, D.C.'s oldest library — a beautiful beaux arts building that dates back to 1903. Inscribed above the doorway are the words: Science, Poetry, History. The building was "dedicated to the diffusion of knowledge."

Read more

Pages